Walks near Connel

Loch Etive

During our stay in Connel over Christmas 2021 we did some lovely walks.

Loch Etive from Inverawe

An out-and-back route from the Forestry Commission carpark at Inverawe to the River Liver had beautiful scenery, a herd of deer, and the remains of a deserted township, Creag Buidhe.

Oban and Pulpit Hill

We made the mistake of going into Oban two days before Christmas. It was heaving. On Christmas Day itself, it was bright, cold and quiet. From the town, we did a circular walk climbing Pulpit Hill and the hillfort of Dun Uabairtich before returning along a minor road. We had fine views back to the town and over the Sound of Kerrera.

Sutherland’s Grove

This is a “lollipop” route which starts and finishes by walking through Sutherland’s Grove alongside the Abhainn Teithil (river) before looping out to Gleann Dubh Reservoir and returning through Balcardine Forest. The grove is named after Lord Sutherland who was President of the Society of Foresters and helped set up the Forestry Commission in 1919. During the walk, there were views to Loch Creran, Loch Linnhe, and beyond to the hills of Morvern. We also met a funny little troll under a bridge!

Glen Nant

Today Glen Nant is a nature reserve, but in the 18th and 19th centuries it was a busy industrial site with hundreds of people coppicing trees and burning them for charcoal for the nearby Bonawe Iron Furnace. In addition, the bark of the oak was used in the leather tanning industry. We found a very beautifully placed picnic table to eat our sandwiches.

Fearnoch Forest

In Fearnoch Forest we followed the Ant Hill Trail – Scottish wood ants make their impressive domed homes from pine needles, moss and heather. They eat a lot of other insects which are harmful to trees – for every square metre of forest there is estimated to be about 500 ants.

Ganavan Bay to Dunstaffnage

On our last day, we walked from Ganavan Bay, about three miles north of Oban, along the coast to Dunstaffnage Castle, returning slightly inland past the Marina and along the cycle path to avoid re-traversing the coastal trail mud.

This was a lovely way to spend the Christmas period in a year when we just wanted to get away from it all. We’ve had another three Scottish trips since then – we are getting back into our stride at last.

Linked to Jo’s Monday Walk.

51 Comments »

  1. It is a very good part of the Highlands to walk in. Bagging the ring of small summits, including Pulpit Hill, that dot Oban’s outer suburbia is a classic for views and Glen Nant is pretty following the wooded streambed up to the dam. My parents liked going to Inveraray in summer but I found walking around there through thick plantation pine forest hard and tedious away from the town itself and that small folly hilltop was the one redeeming short excursion worth doing. Oban is the opposite with loads of fantastic back country to explore in every direction.

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  2. What beautiful landscapes Anabel, a good idea to get away for Christmas and you chose a good spot. The weather looks to have behaved itself too. And OH has excelled himself with the photos – such clear and colourful shots. (And obviously some by you as well).

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  3. Gorgeous photographs from Pulpit Hill. I’m very jealous of your deer herd. I was surprised not to see a single one when I walked the West Highland Way in the first week of April. Look forward to reaching Oban and following in some of your footsteps, while avoiding the troll! 🙂

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  4. Oh I love all of this, but you shouldn’t call hubby a troll… oh no, sorry, I see it now!
    I remember a weekend orienteering on those hillsides along Loch Etive, and I did a nice picture to celebrate it. I wonder where that is now, I’m sure I kept it.
    My picture of the Sound of Kerrera is near my front door. Love this area… and Mull, of course 🙂

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